Red Hook

Red Hook to commemorate Sandy anniversary at annual Barnacle Parade

October 28, 2019 Meaghan McGoldrick

The Red Hook community will come together Tuesday for the sixth annual Barnacle Parade, an event held each year in commemoration of Superstorm Sandy.

This year’s parade will fall on the seventh anniversary of the superstorm, which touched down in New York on Oct. 12, 2012, rocking several of the city’s coastal communities. Red Hook was among them.

The Barnacle Parade — held each year “by Red Hook, for Red Hook,” according to its Facebook page — was launched by a group of neighbors in 2013, one year after the storm brought a “12[-foot] storm surge and giant mess.”

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Under an umbrella theme of unity, the parade highlights the solidarity and resiliency of the waterfront neighborhood each year.

“Friends, family, neighbors, and strangers all helped each other out in the recovery, and we have hung on like barnacles,” a description for the parade reads, adding that the procession — which features live music, monstrous hand-made decorations, raffle prizes and an after-party — doubles as a fundraiser for relevant causes.

This year’s funds will help support on-the-ground initiatives in the Bahamas, where the effects of September’s Category 5 Hurricane Dorian are still being felt.

The parade will kick off at Pioneer and Van Brunt Street at 4 p.m., where revelers will reconvene afterwards for a block party that goes until 9 p.m.

This year’s theme is “Hook-lantis,” organizers told the Brooklyn Eagle, which imagines a future Red Hook underwater.

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“It’s coming together,” parade organizer Anne O’Neil said Monday as she and her team put finishing touches on a “B-Squidsti-1” — a play on the Red Hook bus route. “We are imagining a Red Hook 100 years from now completely underwater, where we all have adapted and are riding the bus with squids and all other types of sea creatures.”

Of the parade’s origin, O’Neil said, “We did it the first couple of years just to celebrate resiliency, and the fact that we could all stand together in wake of Sandy.” But in the last couple of years, the still-growing group has donated to other relief efforts.

“We have these huge raffle prizes like ski weekends and surfboards — there’s thousands of dollars worth of prizes in each bundle,” O’Neil said. “That’s all for charity.”

Seven years after Sandy, O’Neil said the Barnacle Parade continues to be a beacon of hope for community members.

“It’s kind of magic to see it continue and see how it affects so many people,” she said. “In my hopes, if I or the 20 or so people who started the parade ever leave Red Hook and move on, that someone will take over the mantel and keep this thing going.”


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